Perrier spot takes off with a riot of colourful VFX from MPC Paris
MPC’s work on a Fleur & Manu spot for Perrier offers a frenetic explosion of colours and sounds over the stunning backdrop of the Iguazu Falls. With inspiration from Wacky Races, as well as iconic snippets from the historical bank of Perrier adverts, the spot features a party of CG hot air balloons racing through the sky.
Ogilvy Paris brought in directing duo Fleur & Manu worked and production company Les Télécréateurs for the spot, while MPC’s newly opened Paris studio took on the 42 VFX shots and grading duties. Nicolas Loir served as DOP on the vibrant film, with Thomas Grove Carter in the editor’s chair.
“The spot is a riot of colour, with multiple locations and many minute details in every shot,” said Paris Franck Lambertz, VFX supervisor and creative director of MPC. “Working with Fleur & Manu, who are adept at creating the ultimate fantasy world, led us to slightly unconventional techniques. I even found myself in a helicopter filming with a 360-degree camera to create the back plates.”
The opening scene was based on stills of a natural well in Yucatan, Mexico, with CG and animated DMPs bringing the sequence to life. The balloon bursting through the water was one of the most challenging shots for the team to create, requiring a team of Houdini liquid specialists.
The main shoot took place in Argentina, with actors and extras suspended close to the ground in their baskets. This natural lighting gave the perfect reference to the VFX team for integrating the protagonists with CG elements and shot/DMP backgrounds.
3D Supervisor Fabian Frank led the team to create 50 variations of CG hot air balloons, and re-build the baskets in 3D. Each balloon has its own unique brand of eccentricity, with the occupants using tricks to speed their balloons along. To help with the individuality, Fabian’s team used a range of cloth simulations, making some of the balloons shinier, thicker or adding a deeper sheen than others.
The majestic lion, and his marmoset and parrot companions, were shot in-camera at Argentina zoo, with multiple takes required to get the correct action. Colourist Matthieu Toullet applied a vibrant grade, creating the bright and warm look.
“We sought to produce a striking coloured film, while being careful not to tilt towards an artificial look,” said Toullet. “I really enjoyed being able to play with the variety and richness in the colour scheme. We applied some creamy tonality on the high-lights to find a nice depth in the film.”
Directors Fleur & Manu said of the spot, “When we received the project we were really impressed by the quality of the idea. More than that, Perrier is one of the most iconic French brands. Directors like Jean-Paul Goude, Ridley Scott and others have produced amazing films [for the brand], so it was really exiting to take part in that creative history. At the same time the script was really ambitious. We thought about who we could make it with, and MPC Paris was the perfect fit. It was a very challenging project, but we are so proud of the final result. The film will be released in Roland Garros central court for the men’s finals on June 7th; we could not think of a better starting point for this great film!”
Directors: Fleur & Manu
Production Company: Les Télécréateurs
DOP: Nicolas Loir
Editor: Thomas Grove Carter
Sound Design: GUM
VFX: MPC Paris
VFX Supervisor: Franck Lambertz
3D Supervisor: Fabian Frank
VFX Producer: Quentin Martin
Grade: MPC – Remote Grading
Colourist: Matthieu Toullet
Agency: Ogilvy Paris
Creative Director: Paul Kreitmann
Agency Producer: Laure Bayle and Aurelie Appert
Creatives: Clara Noguier and Olivier Le Lostec
© 2015, Michael Burns. All rights reserved.